The BW Scandal: Espiritu’s Testimony

(January 15, 2001)

I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not really sure about how credible Espiritu’s testimony really is LEGALLY.

But as far as I’m concerned, I believe Espiritu. It answers a lot of questions, like for example, how come, that despite the fact that for the first time in the history of the Philippine Stock Market, the whole market was on the brink of collapse, and yet Erap still went initially to side with his friend Dante Tan?

Kung hindi naagapan, talagang babagsak ang stock market natin nuon (Had it not been prevented immediately, our stock market would’ve collapsed)’.
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Laarni’s Flight

(January 12, 2001)

There’s something wrong about this whole incident.

Everybody knows who Laarni is, and the guy who was caught with the P6 million was most probably carrying her money. After all, Laarni conveniently took a flight out of the country just as a subpoena was about to be issued to her that same day to appear before the impeachment court. That P6 million would’ve ensured a comfortable stay for her wherever it is she’s going for as long as necessary.

What puzzles me is that, how come the guy got caught? He had obviously been escorted in someway because if not, he would not have likely passed 2 X-ray machine inspections, so the customs people must’ve known who he was, and what the money he was carrying for. And yet he still got caught.

If I were a customs guy, I would definitely have 2nd thoughts about accosting that fellow, specially if he had already passed thru a couple of inspections, knowing who he is. I would’ve feared for my job. Unless, of course, some groups in the customs office have reasons we can only speculate about to brazenly embarass a favorite presidential mistress.

What’s worst is that Laarni’s embarkation card was also leaked to the press, so yesterday evening, on channel 2’s “TV Patrol”, the card was shown with Laarni’s address listed as, “771 Harvard St., Wack Wack Subd.”, with matching signature below it. The house on that address was the same house Erap kept denying as bought by him to house one of his mistresses.

Bottomline is that Erap still ended up with a lot of egg on his face because of this incident. The NAIA personnel could’ve just kept everything quiet, the whole incident relegated to just rumors in the days to come. Instead, the arrested person got presented to the media with the money, Laarni got to go to HK without her P6 million, and Laarni’s departure card shown to the public with the Wack-Wack address on it.

Maybe in her haste, she wasn’t able to prepare everything to go as smoothly as she wanted, or maybe there was a feud between no. 1 and ….. is it no. 2, or 4, or 5?….. in which case, the NAIA officials definitely would not want to get involved ….

Another chapter in the Erap As President saga …..

The BW Scandal

(January 11, 2001)

Can Erap truly change for the better, now that he’s gone thru such a trying impeachment trial? After watching Almadro and Yulo yesterday testify about the BW case, I would doubt that very much.

Here was a person who in his first days in office proclaimed to the public that, “…walang kaibi-kaibigan, walang kama-kamag anak …..”, and yet a year later came to the staunch defense of his friend. Despite the fact that the panel of investigators personally submitted to him their findings that the stock manipulation was so ‘garapal’ and obvious and warned that it was bound to spur a crisis of confidence in our stock market, he still insisted on sticking to his friend, to the detriment of the country.

Foreign investors in our stock market took one look at the whole thing, saw what Dante Tan did, saw how Erap reacted, then packed up their bags to leave. Obviously, they didn’t want anymore made fools anymore of any of the President’s friends. Guess what kind of news they’d be telling other businessmen back in their countries.

The whole incident happened in 1999. It’s already 2001, and Tan is still scot-free. Were it not for the public outcry for Dante Tan’s head, one wonders if he would’ve been charged at all despite engineering the worst case of stock manipulation in the history of our local stock market.

I just don’t think we can trust this president to keep doing good for the country. A year from now, when he starts feeling confident and secure again, he’d probably be back to his old tricks.

The Jose Valhalla Check

I would just like to revisit this “Jose Valhalla” issue which the prosecution brought out as evidence against Erap at the start of the impeachment trial :

a. A “Jose Valhalla” issued a check worth P 142 million pesos to the bank account of Jose “Sel” Yulo, the President’s associate and former housing czar.

b. No “Jose Valhalla” could be found on the records of the National Statistics Office traced back to the last 25 years, neither can this name be traced to the Bureau of Immigration’s records.

c. The signature of this “Jose Valhalla” bores a striking resemblance to the signature of Erap.

d. The P 142 million in Yulo’s account was then used to fund a company named “St. Peter’s Holdings”, which acquired a 7,000 sq. m. lot in New Manila.

e. This “St. Peter’s Holdings” company was founded by Edward Serapio, one of Erap’s lawyers. Despite the fact that its paid up capitalization is only P 62,500, it was able to acquire the New Manila lot worth P86 million in Oct. 1, 1999 using the money transferred from Yulo’s bank account.

In summary, we have a person who does not exist based on any local records, but who has a striking resemblance to Erap’s signature, graciously issuing a check worth P142 million to Yulo, who is a known presidential associate. The same money was then transferred to a company founded by one of the president’s lawyers, which bought the New Manila house. That same house in turn was where Laarni lived for a while by admission of the President, and whose address was listed in the yellow pages under Laarni’s name.

I don’t know, but, is it just me, or does anybody also see that something very fishy with the series of events/facts cited above?